Jul 162013
“Short-term pain, long-term gain” scenario for JKH: Report
John Keells Holdings PLC’s (JKH) proposed US $ 850 million integrated resort project in Glennie Street would be a significant hit to the company’s bottom line in the short-term, though the project is expected to be a long-term boon, an equities report stated. “Additional borrowing will be required for the project resulting in a significant jump in the borrowing costs,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said referring to the JKH indication to the Board of Investment (BoI) that the firm would increase its investment by another US $ 200 million.

“We assume the project is likely to be initiated early FY15E affecting FY15E and FY16E profitability of the company,” the report noted.

The report however expects FY17E earnings to benefit through this project as the sale of the residential apartments generate strong cash flows.

Despite the above project being a landmark for the JKH Group, the funding side of the project still remains unclear.

Further the report stated that the group currently holds cash reserves of Rs.30 billion. Through the existing cash reserves the company currently generates net finance income of Rs.3.7 billion contributing 27 percent to the bottom line.

According to BoI Chairman, Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera, JKH’s subsidiary Waterfront Properties (Pvt) Ltd. would raise between US $ 300-350 million from foreign sources through a rights issue, before the end of this year.

However JKH in a stock market disclosure on Monday (15) refuted claims by Dr. Jayaweera and said the company had not made any decision to raise US $ 300 million through such a rights issue.

Speculation is now rife that JKH might opt for a private placement of shares to raise required funds.The integrated resort will consist of 500 hotel rooms, apartment complex, restaurants, commercial and office space. The project is expected to generate as much as 3,000 direct employment opportunities.

Jun 052013
Shares fall to near 3-week closing low
Sri Lankan shares fell for a third straight session yesterday to their lowest close in nearly three weeks, as investors booked profits in blue-chip companies like John Keells Holdings and Commercial Bank of Ceylon in an overbought market.

However, foreign investors bought shares on a net basis for a 19th straight session.

The bourse saw a net foreign inflow of Rs.314 million, extending year-to-date inflows to Rs.14.76 billion.

The main stock index fell 0.42 percent, or 26.82 points, to 6,422.84, the lowest close since May 17. Foreign investors accounted for around 52.8 percent of the day’s turnover of Rs.818.3 million ($6.47 million), less than this year’s daily average of Rs.1.04 billion.

“Consolidation is continuing and the market is taking time for the next run. We expect the market to be at these levels before gaining,” said a stockbroker asking not to be named.

He expects the market to rise with more foreign buying after a road show, which is being held in Dubai with the participation of top market and regulatory officials to attract foreign inflows into the bourse.

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings fell 0.82 percent to Rs.279.40, while Commercial Bank of Ceylon lost 0.56 percent to Rs.123.30.

The market’s 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) was still in overbought territory, at 72.992 on Wednesday and has been above the upper neutral level of 70 since April 16, Thomson Reuters data showed.

The rupee ended firmer at 126.43/45 per dollar from Tuesday’s close of 126.50/52 on thin volume of inflows from remittances and stocks-related transactions, dealers said.


May 072013
Bourse at 1-1/2 yr high on blue chips, retail buying
Sri Lankan shares closed at their highest in nearly 1-1/2 years yesterday, led by blue chips, due to an improved appetite for risky assets after heavy foreign buying amid hopes of a rate cut at the central bank’s policy meeting later this week.

The main stock index rose 1.32 percent, or 80.51 points, to 6,201.68, the highest close since Nov. 14, 2011.

“Investors are upbeat after foreign investors have been buying continuously.

Retail i nvestors are also on the buying side as they hope for a rate cut on Friday,” a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.

Shares have been on a rising trend on expectations of a fall in interest rates after Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera and the central bank said interest rates could ease in May-June. The market has gained 7.3 percent since the treasury secretary’s comments on April 9.

The International Monetary Fund, however, said on Thursday Sri Lanka must not loosen monetary conditions as inflation remains a concern, even though prices had risen at a slower pace in April than the previous month.

Shares in market heavyweight John Keells Holdings rose 1.65 percent to Rs.264.50 a share. The turnover was Rs.1.39 billion ($11 million), more than this year’s daily average of Rs.1 billion.

Foreign investors were net buyers of Rs.248.8 million of shares, extending the net foreign inflow so far this year to Rs.9.21 billion. Last year, the bourse saw a net inflow of $303 million.

The rupee ended at 126.30/37 per dollar, firmer from Monday’s close of 126.40/50, on exporter dollar sales, said currency dealers.


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